Updated at 3:57 p.m. EST, Nov. 23, 2008
At least 11 Iraqis were killed
and another 37 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Eight of the dead
were from the discovery of a mass grave in Babel province. No Coalition deaths
were reported, but U.S. military officials reported that Kurdish authorities purchased
arms from Bulgaria, worrying officials in Baghdad. Meanwhile, debate on the U.S.-Iraqi
security agreement continues amidst protests in Baghdad even as U.S. officials
criticized Syria during a security meeting in Damascus.
that officials in the Kurdish Autonomous Region purchased weapons from Bulgaria
in September. Although the area's governors operate in a manner that significantly
separates them from the central government, Kurdish president Barzani recently
noted that many Kurds feel
the central government wants to impose a "totalitarian regime" on them. In recent
months, fighting has broken out between Kurdish Peshmerga and regular Iraqi army
troops in border areas near the region. The Kurdish Regional Government has sought
to extend its influence into these neighboring areas, where many Kurds live.
As public demonstrations continue, two members of the cabinet defended
a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security agreement that is set for a vote in parliament.
The pact will allow U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after a U.N. mandate expires
in December. Although it is expected to pass on Wednesday, followers of Shi'ite
cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demonstrated against it in hope of at least crippling the
public's acceptance of the pact. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said
that the agreement must pass by a comfortable enough margin if it has any hope
of working. Sistani is also angry
with parliamentarians who have already left Baghdad on the hajj instead
of waiting on the vote.
During a security meeting in Damascus,
the U.S. was critical of
Syria's inability to stop fighters from staging attacks on Iraq from Syrian soil;
however, other Western nations in attendance praised Syria for implementing measures
designed to temper those attacks. Almost a month ago, U.S. forces raided a small
Syrian border town during an operation said to be targeting a well-known smuggling
network blamed for attacks in western Iraq. Syrian officials counter-claimed that
the country was itself a victim of terrorism.
bodies were discovered in a mass grave in Muwaylaha. The grave was
dated to approximately a year ago. Another site is being excavated
nearby. The find was announced only a day after another mass grave was discovered
in the province.
In Baghdad, one
person was killed six people were wounded during a bombing in the Karrada
district; another four people
were wounded in a second bombing later in the day. Four
people were wounded by a separate blast in Yarmouk. In Bab al-Muadham,
a sticky bomb attached to a car was detonated, wounding
four people. One
person was killed and four more were wounded in a bombing in Waziriya.
Five people were wounded,
including Agriculture Ministy workers, during a bombing on Nidhal Street.
A journalist was injured during
an attack outside his offices. Also, eight suspects were arrested
in separate operations in Adhamiya and New Baghdad, where
a body was also found. .
In Mosul, a car bomb wounded
seven people, including an Iraqi soldier.
policemen were wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint south of Tikrit.
Sixteen people were arrested
in Kut for distributing leaflets. The leaflets contained a statement from
Shi'ite cleric Sayyid Mahmoud al-Hassani al-Sarkhi on the proposed U.S.-Iraqi
Iraqi troops detained
52 suspects across Iraq.
Eleven suspects were captured
in the Hamrim Mountains.
Nine people were arrested
in Basra. Six unlicensed vehicles were seized.
A U.S. patrol was
turned away from Qadisiyah University near Diwaniya. There was no explanation
for the impromptu visit. They were told they could enter in civilian dress if
they made an appointment and brought no arms.
by Margaret Griffis